Johanna Case-Hofmeister

Artist Statement

In my work I employ the use of animal as metaphor to investigate difficult subjects centered around death, abuse, and systematic oppression whether affecting the personal, global, or societal. My art is about transformation and searching for it in seemingly hopeless and desolate places. It is about moving beneath judgement to expose life compromised and deeply misunderstood in this world, yet persevering. I use the genres of family photography, landscape, portraiture, and testimony to create containers for my subject’s stories and ideas. I’m most often drawn to make work about complicated issues that cause me to confront my own core beliefs. It is my hope that my viewers also engage in a practice of questioning with complex narratives. I work in the mediums of photography, videos, and audio.

“Threading the Rib”

Since 2017 I have sought out whale mortalities on both coasts of the United States and the Arctic. I have been specifically interested in the human interactions in aftermath and have collaborated with scientists, community members at whale stranding sites, and subsistence hunters. These whales have had a deep impact on me as an artist and person and hold mystical and historical symbolism. For me they are a direct reflection of what is happening in the world today as the climate changes, globalization expands across all oceans, and traditional cultures are pushed to the brink of oblivion. It is my intention to create a portrait of humanity today by connecting these different places and groups of people with one commonality: whale mortalities.

This project started in my hometown in California when a whale beached. After photographing the decay of that whale the project extended to whale mortalities in New York and Nova Scotia. For the past two summers I’ve driven from New York to the Arctic to gain a different perspective by living with a community that survives on the harvesting of Beluga whales and the continued tradition of subsistence hunting. In contrast these deaths represent survival and life.

Download Johanna Case-Hofmeister’s Curriculum Vitae

Interview

Interview transcript

Susan Classen-Sullivan
Okay, so, first question, kind of an obvious question is, how, if at all, has the pandemic affected your work?

Johanna Case-Hofmeister
Um, so I was going to go to, back up to the Arctic this past summer. So I was unable to do that.

Susan Classen-Sullivan
The Arctic being a place that you go to do your work?

Johanna Case-Hofmeister
Yeah, it would have been my third summer up there, basically, to go up there and show people who have been collaborating with more of what I’ve been doing. That was my intention. And I actually I left the day that they shut down MCC like, I was printing out a midterm that day. And I was going to come here to New Mexico anyways, and I haven’t been back. But um, for you know, for a moment I thought about trying to get to Canada. So I would be able to continue with this. But everything locked down before that was possible. So I’m in a position now where I have to focus on editing. So I, I have an editing wall. And then, you know, that helps me progress. But I haven’t, I haven’t been shooting as much. I recently have started on a new project. But yeah, but I haven’t. Yeah, yeah. It’s been like six months.

Susan Classen-Sullivan
It must be hard to be, it must be hard to have been so involved in a project and sort of been cut off from it. That must be hard with your practice.

Johanna Case-Hofmeister
Yeah, I think because there’s been so many changes, it just felt like one other thing, and everybody I know has had a huge disruption with projects that they’ve been working on.

Susan Classen-Sullivan
So yeah, I’m really curious as I go through these interviews with people, how, you know how it’s impact their practice, even if they haven’t been cut off from their subject or something. Just the distraction is pretty huge.

Johanna Case-Hofmeister
Yes, yes.

Susan Classen-Sullivan
But you are moving forward nonetheless. So that’s wonderful and inspiring. I think. So in terms of your practice, and maybe this has changed, given our new situation, but are there certain requirements you have for making your work? Certain physical requirements, in terms of space equipment, certain requirements in terms of state of mind, or any way you really want to address that question is fine. Like, what does it take for you to make your work?

Johanna Case-Hofmeister
Make it possible for you to make your work?

Yeah, well, right now, my, my current project is completely halted. Because that involves, you know, in my work, I’ve always included – I’ve had people, that’s been a large part of the work and it’s been very interactive, so that, it’s been halted. And so I’m trying to focus on a different phase of putting things together. But yeah, it’s, it’s extremely distracting. Teaching online takes far more energy than going in person. And time. And time. So I, and I’m also teaching here in New Mexico asynchronous. So basically, since the semester started, it’s been a full on sprint.

And then I’ve had to think of…

Susan Classen-Sullivan
How is it working for you, how is it? How is the remote teaching working for you? Do you feel like it’s…

Johanna Case-Hofmeister
It worked for me, I think it is working. The, it, and it seems like it’s working for the students as best as it could. I, I actually, in some ways really enjoy it. The one thing that’s difficult is that it’s harder for me to be able, there’s only so much of me when you have everybody in one room online. And so having the opportunity to the set and explain, you know, what I see in the work is harder to do live, you know, so that, that I’m feeling like is maybe the biggest drawback. But at this point, I have my own, like TV show for this other school that I teach at where everything’s recorded, I do demos, there’s bloopers, and, wow. And they’re making great work. So it works and then MCC, it’s, I have a lot more face time. So I have that comparison. So I feel quite optimistic, you know, because I get to interact with people. Um, but it is, it’s a lot. And so I’m finding it difficult to, to focus on my own projects.

Susan Classen-Sullivan
So in terms of requirement for your work, time and ability to focus is big. Yeah. Yep. Because it’s not like you can do it light. Five minutes here, five minutes there, right?

Johanna Case-Hofmeister
No, I mean, I have this new thing going on where I think a mountain lion came to my property. So I ordered infrared trail cams. So I’ve been setting them up. And that’s how I make it work while I’ve been sleeping. It’s just… (laughs)

Susan Classen-Sullivan
Oh, nice adaptation.

Johanna Case-Hofmeister
I had to I had to express myself some way. And so I just have like, tons of coyote footage with like, good composition.

Susan Classen-Sullivan
Cool there too, though. I wonder if people move into – does it do video or…

Johanna Case-Hofmeister
No, I’m shooting video. So it’s infrared video. And…

Susan Classen-Sullivan
Have you ever done video in relation to your work before?

Johanna Case-Hofmeister
Yeah, definitely.

Susan Classen-Sullivan
I didn’t know that.

Johanna Case-Hofmeister
Yeah.

Susan Classen-Sullivan
Cool.

Johanna Case-Hofmeister
Yeah. So this is – and animals are usually, you know, always a part of my work now. Um, so and then there was a fire by where I’m living like four miles away. So all of the animals have been disrupted. Anyways, my point is, is that even though it’s been hard to stay focused on “I’m going to go to a studio and edit” or “I’m going to go and photograph”, the creativity has found a way to, to come in. And

yeah,

Susan Classen-Sullivan
Wonderful.

All right. Do you have – you may have sort of answered this, but do you have a specific studio routine or schedule, you know, certain times of day, certain days a week, like, what’s your practice like?

Johanna Case-Hofmeister
I didn’t before, you know, the way that I would work would be that I would go and make work for months and months on end, and then come back and kind of let it sit, and then start to do some, some editing and then go back out and work. Today, I actually have a, I’m in a storage unit right now, which is my studio at my godmothers ranch. And so I actually, it’s like 40 minutes from where I live in. So now I have a routine of I will come here in the morning, it revolves around the horses, and then you know, we feed the horses at four, and then basically, I’m done, and I go home, and I go home and continue to grade. But I will teach from here, and then I’ll do my other work. And so that that’s brand new, and that really helps to basically have a routine, have something to go despite COVID.

Susan Classen-Sullivan
Yeah, a discipline. So yeah, you’re, you’re sort of close to your work. You know, in this situation, or this new work, you’re close to it, I just want to make it clear to people who aren’t aware of your earlier work and, and you know, you’ll all see images from the project in Alaska online. And his work, but it’s my understanding that your traditional way of working is to immerse yourself in a community in a situation, and yet, and only then start photographing.

Johanna Case-Hofmeister
Yeah, so that that’s a component of that project, where it’s actually in the Northwest Territories, and Canada, on the Arctic. And otherwise, you know, I was living in Brooklyn. And so I’ve been completely coastal this, this project has been dependent on being on the ocean in order to photograph whale mortalities, or be someplace where they might have whale specimens at a museum or there’s, you know, some scientists doing the study, and I’m in the desert. So there is, I can’t, I can’t shoot, there’s nothing I can shoot. And so the way that I am close to my work is I now it’s fully stopped. And so I have to do the editing, which I was procrastinate on, whereas, you know, like the infrared things that I’m talking about. Yeah, I set them up here. There’s like a manmade pond, the animals come, you know, it’s something that I’ve found that was like, yeah,

Susan Classen-Sullivan
you probably don’t know where that will go.

Johanna Case-Hofmeister
Yeah, no. And I initially it was just like, I just wanted to know if there was a predator at my house. And, and now it’s turned in it, I think, is turning into something. But as for like, my main project that has been everything for the past few years, it’s stopped. In terms of

Susan Classen-Sullivan
would you call that project?

Political ecologically political?

Johanna Case-Hofmeister
Yeah, I think it’s, it’s social and political. Definitely.

Susan Classen-Sullivan
Come on. Show us a couple images from that. Sure. Get contextualize our what we’re talking about here for people who don’t know yeah.

Johanna Case-Hofmeister
Makes sense. Um, you just have to give me permission to share my screen. I think you go down to share screen with there should be a little arrow next to that with the settings. Okay. Okay. And then you can

Susan Classen-Sullivan
multiple participants did that work?

Johanna Case-Hofmeister
Yes.

Okay, so

I guess to explain how this began, I started this. More than three years ago, I prior to moving back to the east coast for graduate school, which was 10 years ago, I live for a long time in a small community in Northern California. And I was there and like, had was still grading actually, for MCC, I’d flown out there. And there was a blue whale that was struck by a containership and inflated with gas and passed a reef and then was stranded on the beach and in, you know, dead and so the sciences came, and they did a necropsy. And I mean, there was other worldly, I’ve never seen anything like that. And it was like the whole town went to see it, it was the spectacle. And then all these people, even from the Bay Area from San Francisco drove up to see it was like this sight to behold, and then automatically, it was really bizarre. I was shooting video, and within like, 20 minutes, everybody was taking pictures of themselves in front of this giant, dead, dead body, it was automatic. And then like, even to the point where they rolled up a log, and like taking literally like 19th century trophy photographs. or early you know, 20th century. So anyways, I I started photographing it kind of much like, you know how I’m talking about the infrared video that I’m doing right now. It’s it just seemed like I’m a photographer, how could I not photograph it? And so I photographed it the entire summer. They lost it to decompose it would, you know, over time, materialize, be buried to come back. They couldn’t, they couldn’t bury it, like, officially bury it they did on the east coast. And I became obsessed, I became obsessed with this whale and how it died, people would come and they would steal the bones. And those are actually a federal property, which was really bizarre to me, like who owns the whale? That’s a federal offense actually to take bones. And so it became this project. And as soon as I started paying attention to whale deaths, I started to notice that they were you know, all over the place. And didn’t

Susan Classen-Sullivan
you have an app on your phone that would tell you when a whale died somewhere?

Johanna Case-Hofmeister
I actually have a Google like news feed that I still get. I don’t necessarily read it. But I have a feed that gives me news alerts about whale strandings, whale mortalities, whale, necropsies, whale hunting. And so yes, actually, I found a lot of things just from reading the compiled, you know, the news compiled over the course of the week.

Susan Classen-Sullivan
So it started with this individual whale, but then you went to Alaska and, and I imagine, like, you started having interactions with people for who whales were not just an opportunity to take pictures, but like a direct part of their lives. Is that right?

Johanna Case-Hofmeister
Yes. So I’m just looking for more, I call them the southern whales. So this is another one of that same whale prior. So this is actually the skull, and it’s really…

Unknown Speaker
What are those nuns doing?

Johanna Case-Hofmeister
They came to go whale watching, and they didn’t know that there was a dead whale. And we saw them from a distance. And I was like, “Oh my god,” you know. And so, Brandon, I ran after them and we’re like, “What are you doing?” And they said, “We came to go whale watching.” We’re like, “Do you know that there’s an 80 foot decomposing whale?” And so they came over and they allowed me to take their photograph as an example, you know, they’re they’re getting their portrait taken by this part of the animal, which I don’t have any judgment about. I just found that to be a human behavior is a little bizarre. Hmm. I felt like it was kind of like a type of ownership that was occurring. So, um, so yes, I, I photograph the ones that I could down. This is actually in New York in Breezy Point. Really? Yeah. And in that I had heard about on Twitter. And I got there before the scientists the biologists did. And before they did a necropsy to photograph it

Susan Classen-Sullivan
is a necropsy a like an autopsy.

Johanna Case-Hofmeister
Yes. So they do that to determine the cause of the death,

Susan Classen-Sullivan
and then well looks alive in this picture, but it’s not, it’s not.

Johanna Case-Hofmeister
And, and then here’s another one, a different one than the first one in California. And this is actually behind a school where the, the skeleton was salvaged. And then the students put it together, and it’s just overgrown and exists outside of the science classroom. Um, but then I did, I got the idea, you know, because there was so much loss with these whales that you know, and I felt like, you know, it really represented our society and culture. Because, well, because the consumerism, so basically, all of these are caused by humans, the the deaths, and it’s in its containerships, or its pollution. I haven’t photographed a single whale that’s died because of natural causes. And so, you know, and I’m part of that I order from Amazon, you know, and the one in New York, those are container ships that come through, and it’s actually really contentious, you know, like, the scientists are very concerned about imagery that’s being shot, either because of their concern about what animal activists will do. And it’s actually really similar to like how our country is right now, it’s very polarized. So they’re very concerned about, you say, like, not all animal activists are militant, but there are small sections that,

Susan Classen-Sullivan
are they worried about funding from places, they’re not

Johanna Case-Hofmeister
worried about funding, and then and then, so it’s like that one group, and then they’re worried about the other side of it, where people will deny that it was a ship that struck the whale, they’ll get really upset about that. And so they just don’t want any controversy. And then, so I had the idea where I wanted to go and photograph someplace where the world basically meant life, you know, that people were harvesting the whales. Yes, though, there was a whale death that was occurring, but then it would, it would actually support a family through the winter. And, and then I was also really fascinated by people’s reactions around that. Because well, hunting is taboo. Even though really the Northeast, you know, we think about the cotton trade in, in the south, but the other industry that built our country, that was willing, and that’s why, you know, you think about Massachusetts, New York, like why there is a lot of wealth, and it’s, it’s from this history of dwelling, then we turn around and judge indigenous culture cultures that continue to do it. So

Susan Classen-Sullivan
for survival.

Johanna Case-Hofmeister
Well, and also like, you know, I used to try to defend it. And now I don’t, you know, this is part of a traditional practice. It supports their culture is also when a when in this community, and when a whale is harvested, there are scientists who actually take take parts of the whale and are able to do studies, there’s a very limited amount of whales that are harvested so that means that it supports a family like a family can live through the winter in part, you know, there’s it’s part of a cycle of subsistence hunting, where this is just part of it, there’ll be caribou fishing, it’ll all work with a calendar. And then and then it also supports research and and then um, you know culture and, and then lastly, up there it is, you know, the quality of food is not like it is here has to come on a barge. And it’s so expensive.

Susan Classen-Sullivan
How did the How did the people who you’re photographing who had the Have this practice of harvesting whales, how did they react to you?

Johanna Case-Hofmeister
Um, so the first summer I went up, I, I lived, basically in my Subaru. And it was the first time this road had been opened to the Canadian Arctic, there are only two routes to the Arctic. One is in Alaska, in on our continent in North America. And then the other one goes up through the Northwest Territories. And so I opted to go there opposed to Alaska, because I would have to fly in and just kind of like be there and photograph. And that felt really uncomfortable. So I basically went there, and I didn’t take any pictures in the beginning. And I met people. And so my, my experience was that I became close with one family. And then they introduced me to other families that they were related to so all one family, but family units. And then and then I returned, you know, the next summer. So, you know, there were some people that were really concerned about whether or not I was affiliated with an animal activist group, and would accuse me of that. And, and then there were other people who wanted to be photographed, because they wanted the world to see what they do. And this is also a place that is on the frontline of climate change. It’s been studied for decades now. This couple right here, Sarah and Sandy. They had their house moved this past winter, when the ocean was frozen, they had to have the house moved to another part of the community, because the water, the ocean has risen so much that houses are being relocated, and

Susan Classen-Sullivan
yeah, very real to them.

Johanna Case-Hofmeister
Yeah, yeah.

Susan Classen-Sullivan
Well, it sounds like intense and courageous work, I mean, to put yourself in an unfamiliar environment. And

yeah, can you show the?

Well, sure, this one, and then the next one too, after that, if you don’t mind.

Johanna Case-Hofmeister
So let’s this. Um, so I wasn’t I never photographed the actual hunting, that was something that I wasn’t allowed to do, which was fine. And so what happens is that the hunt happens further out near an island. And then the whales are brought back. Generally, they’re butchered on the island. They’re science scientists on the island. I mean, it sounds like a sci fi novel, it’s really surreal. And then they’ll bring back the whale in pieces in the boat, and then they go through a process of processing the whale in order to preserve it. So this is, and every family does it a little slightly, slightly differently. So I have photographed this multiple times, these are two men that went out. And the whale actually had a scratch in it that they believe was from a polar bear. And the next. So I mean, I ended up photographing other things while I was there, because it wasn’t like there was always well processing happening that’s dependent on weather. And then the other thing is, as I was saying that it’s not nobody is a dedicated only, only hunting or harvesting whales, there are people who hunt bears, they, everybody is a versatile, versatile Hunter. So this, these are claws from a grizzly bear, as well as as the viewer. And so I asked, asked the hunter to hold the claws like that. So I could photograph wild.

Susan Classen-Sullivan
Let me ask you, like a specific interview question. One that I think might be helpful to students too. So I imagine you take many photographs, correct. And that only some of them meet by criteria that you have. So how do you judge, how do you judge the work? You know, how do you decide what you’ll accept and what you’ll and what you reject in an image?

Johanna Case-Hofmeister
Usually comes from a feeling you know, It is helpful when there’s a limitation, like I can only get so many shots. And then if I’m doing something like a still life that becomes almost like neurotic, like, I’ll keep doing it over and over again. And sometimes it will be hard for me to be able to know, which is the final image. But generally, I have a feeling, you know, like from being there, and I’ll know I’ll be like, that was the one in my head. And then other pictures I’ll go through and I’ll find them. I’ll be like, Oh, my gosh, that does another one. I’m so tunnel visioned on this one. So it is it now it kind of comes down to what goes with what you know, because I photographed and all these different locations, there is one commonality, like, what is what is the broad, you know, the message that I’m trying to get across? And that that’s part of the editing process, which is, which is difficult. So it’s like, how does this picture relate to this picture? See, relate to this picture. And I believe they do. And that that takes time to figure out.

Susan Classen-Sullivan
Are there things that you do outside of the actual art making practice that support it, that sort of feed it? I’ve asked that question in the past artists, and sometimes it’s, they do research, they do reading, they exercise, they do things that sustain their body and mind that influence their practice or support their practices or anything obvious that comes to mind in that regard.

Johanna Case-Hofmeister
I will do research. I will I will do that, mainly for inspiration. And I’ll look, I’ll look for imagery. And you know, like, for this my dad’s an epidemiologist, I recently asked him if he could get me like a manual on whale necropsies. And I don’t know I’m gonna do with that. But I’ll, it’s through that process of searching. I would say, a lot of my work is about searching and going and finding. Right now with what I’m trying to do with the trail cameras I hike in that’s what you can do right now. I live in a place where that’s something that helps me incredibly to be able to get out doors and be able to do things help body and mind, right. Yeah. And so and then a lot of this work, I had to work for it. I had to, like physically go someplace. It was like a mission. I didn’t know that I was going to find but part of that experience of going informed it and made it so maybe I was okay with it. If something didn’t come out of it. This the photograph of the eye and Queens I had to walk four miles in the dark in and yes, craziness occurred to try to beat the scientists. Breezy Point is a gated community. They wouldn’t let me in, but you can walk on the beach again. It’s like, you know what, who owns what. Evidently, if you’re below the tide line, it’s it’s public property. So they have interest (Johanna cuts off)

Susan Classen-Sullivan
You’re living in your Subaru by yourself? No, you have a dog, but, you know.

Johanna Case-Hofmeister
Well, yeah. Well, I had a bigger vehicle the second summer when I had a dog, and now I have a house, for the record. Not that there’s anything wrong with nomadic living or just you know, on tape, I have a home.

I’ve always had a home.

It’s just like, I you know, I’ve done what I had to in order to make the work, you know, I couldn’t afford to fly and rent like a, you know, a bed and breakfast up in the Arctic. Also, because I was living in a vehicle, I met everybody in town, and they got a chance to watch me and see what I was doing. And yeah, how I was with people and, and then gradually over time, they would invite me over, you know, and ask me what was going on. And that that’s how it worked.

Susan Classen-Sullivan
Well, this next question sort of relates to that. It’s, um, what are the greatest challenges that you face in making your work? Beyond the pandemic, besides the pandemic, of course.

Johanna Case-Hofmeister
I think the greatest challenge is whether or not it’s going to be seen or heard. And that, you know, that is part of making the work is getting it out there to the world. You know, that’s something that feels overwhelming to me. And then…’cause, ’cause, ’cause it’s not like, I’m not necessarily suited for that, that’s something that I have to learn how to do.

Susan Classen-Sullivan
So do you mean like the gallery scene and schmoozing? Or the, you know…

Johanna Case-Hofmeister
I’m not, I’m not built for it. And, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t navigate it, you know, so that, that’s one of the…

Susan Classen-Sullivan
Say that again, say that, that’s beautiful. Say that again.

Johanna Case-Hofmeister
It doesn’t mean that I can’t navigate it. Yeah. Like I, I don’t, the truth is, I don’t know how to do it. But I’m surrounded by people that do it. And I will also realized that I don’t have to be good at it. You just you just get it done. Yeah, with making the work, I don’t really have a problem. Once I get started. After graduate school, I did have a long period of time where I didn’t make work. And and then it began again. And once I’m interested in something like, I do not have an issue, let’s say contacting the hunters and trappers committee committee in a place like this, or writing to a scientist, if I have to talk to you know, a curator than the you know, that takes that takes more effort. So, it you know, some people are better or better at different, you know, different things. Yeah.

Susan Classen-Sullivan
What’s it what’s the greatest reward you get from making your work?

Johanna Case-Hofmeister
I think, I think with this work, it’s the relationships that I have with with places geographically, and then also, the people like that is as very rewarding to, to create connections, and then, and then really the experience of…

Susan Classen-Sullivan
…people outside the art world.

Johanna Case-Hofmeister
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, no, I, I’m not in this to create a connection and validation in the art world. But you know, even looking at these and knowing you know, that they’re good, you know, that I have gone further in my image making and the ability to make work, you know that that’s exciting. But it’s really about the experience of doing these things. So even if nothing happened with this work I have, I have had the time of my life. That’s the way I would say it. Yeah.

Susan Classen-Sullivan
You, you talked a little bit. My second to last question is asking people if they wanted to talk about what they’re personally presently involved in.

And I don’t know, if you, you’re, you may not be far enough into the infrared filming of the animals. Or I don’t know if you have any images or anything you want to talk about that you haven’t related to that. Or like, what’s your next step? Once the pandemic is over? With this body of work?

Johanna Case-Hofmeister
If you want I can pull up a…

we have a moment.

Everybody, hang on.

Susan Classen-Sullivan
We’re here. It’s okay. We’re fine.

Johanna Case-Hofmeister
Find it.

I’m giving you an example.

Susan Classen-Sullivan
All right, fantastic.

Johanna Case-Hofmeister
Okay, can I think I can share video?

Susan Classen-Sullivan
Big? Yes. They grow the coyotes big there. Oh, yeah. I have coyotes around my house. But they’re not that big.

Johanna Case-Hofmeister
Yeah. You have wolves. I don’t know. We have cougars. We have mountain lions. Oh, but what I love about this is the reflection that’s happening. You know, the fact that it’s like setting the stage. I don’t know what’s going to happen. You know, I do have like, consisting coyotes. And then there’s a dog here whose job is to chase the coyotes away. So there’s a lot of that but it’s really you know, a lot of the work is about like the seen and the unseen. And, and it’s since graduate school I started to use animals. Basically as a container, so I’m excited about this, because it just feels, it’s something that I never would have thought to, um…

Susan Classen-Sullivan
A container for what?

Johanna Case-Hofmeister
Oh, you know, for the whale project, I mean, that’s a container for many social or political issues, it keeps changing. That project is directly related to climate change. It’s related to our culture’s focus on consumerism, indigenous communities being threatened in various ways, often because of what the rest of the world has been doing. And so you have, there’s racism in that there’s history, its current. So it’s, it’s almost like it’s not really about whales, you know, they are what is tying it all together and driving it? Yes, it’s about Wales. But it’s, I look for things that are bigger than that. So the, you know, this night footage, I don’t know what’s going to happen with it. I initially thought of it because he, again, climate change, not that I typically talk about that. I feel like it’s obvious. But I started the semester with a fire, which is so unusual in New Mexico, that was like, three or four miles from my house. The smoke was horrible smoke was coming from California, and then all these animals are doing things that they don’t normally do. And, again, it’s it’s a way to see something that’s happening despite us. Like, we don’t we don’t see this other world, you know, that’s constantly occurring. And that’s, that’s what excites me. Yeah, it’s impacting that they they are here. They’re there in the daytime, and looks completely different. They don’t come here.

Susan Classen-Sullivan
You hear them at night?

Johanna Case-Hofmeister
Yes, yes.

Yeah. So, um.

Susan Classen-Sullivan
Well, it’s wonderful work. I can’t wait to see where that project goes. And more of the other, you know, with the faculty show where you’re showing, I think, 17 images?

Johanna Case-Hofmeister
I can’t remember. I don’t I don’t know how that…

Susan Classen-Sullivan
I haven’t seen them all yet. But I’m really looking forward to it.

Johanna Case-Hofmeister
Yeah, I don’t know how that came about, since it’s not in person. So I think I, yeah, I sent 15 or 17. Oh,

Susan Classen-Sullivan
well, everyone who’s listening to this interview, you can see those on the faculty show website that will be up soon.

Unknown Speaker
Last question, Anna. Any advice that you can give young art makers, students who are, you know, they’re not out there independently on their own, like, you know, given your experience, anything you can tell them?

Johanna Case-Hofmeister
Well, in what I do tell my students is if they find something, you know, that they’re excited about, and they’re passionate about, go after it, the subject matter, even if they’re making pictures that or work that isn’t necessarily what their – isn’t lining up with their, what they’re envisioning, you know, like, if you have one idea, here it is, if you have one idea, go after it, you’re actually going to find two or three ideas, you’re going to find multiple ideas that you can pursue. So your first idea is most likely not what you’re going to do. And to be open to that. And then also to give yourself space, you know, if you like, I made a whole bunch of terrible videos and bought all these trail cameras, and, you know, was like, “Why did I do that?”. And then I started it, I started to figure out what I wanted and where to put things. And if the unknown is actually something that is, it shouldn’t be something that’s scary. It’s exciting. So, not worrying about the result. It’s about the process.

Susan Classen-Sullivan
Wonderfully said, thank you so much.

Johanna Case-Hofmeister
You’re welcome. Thanks for, thanks for inviting me.

Susan Classen-Sullivan
Of course.

Those are all my questions. So we’re going to have an opening, hopefully you’ll attend that virtual opening.

Johanna Case-Hofmeister
Yeah.

Susan Classen-Sullivan
I’ll let you know about that.

Johanna Case-Hofmeister
Okay. Yeah. Of course.

Susan Classen-Sullivan
Wonderful to see you, Anna.

Johanna Case-Hofmeister
Yes, it’s good to see you.

Susan Classen-Sullivan
All right. Talk soon.

Johanna Case-Hofmeister
See you in the future.

Artwork